By Daniel Howard, CTO and SVP, Engineering of SCTE
As you know, the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) continues to strive to provide new and unique ways to both train and challenge the cable workforce and our members. Through our Chapters, we have been holding a very successful Olympic-style challenge for field-level employees that includes both hands-on skill assessments and knowledge-based contests, and this continues to be a big hit with our members and the industry. But one thing I kept hearing in meetings with cable executives, managers and at SCTE chapters was the need for SCTE to provide resources and involvement opportunities for the IP engineers and computer scientists in our workforce who manage an increasingly larger portion of the overall network.
I’m therefore proud and excited to announce the new SCTE IP Challenge that we developed in partnership with Cisco as a response to this need. This new interactive event was created to drive awareness of the importance of foundational IP knowledge among the cable workforce, and it is designed to promote the benefits of IP expertise in the cable industry, as well as leverage thought leadership around IPv6 in particular. Read More »
The explosion of media traffic and video applications calls for a foundation network that is ready to provide intelligent priority-based services for them, and one cannot agree more with the paramount role of QoS in deployment of medianets. QoS Technologies have traditionally helped administrators exert control over network behavior with differential treatment of various traffic classes, and this becomes a much more compelling requirement in today’s landscape with a lot of low latency and delay sensitive traffic consuming a big part of the total available bandwidth pool.
Many of you would nod in agreement when we talk about the complexities involved in QoS deployment. The complexities stem from a plethora of reasons: platform inconsistencies in provisioning and feature sets, divergent hardware capabilities across product lines, lack of a centric management application to provision and manage QoS etc.
In order to alleviate these pain points, we have the pleasure of introducing a series of QoS-Simplified AAGs (At-A-Glance) documents especially as an aid to expedite Medianet QoS deployments. The goal of this AAG series is to drive QoS Simplification, enable an administrator to understand and configure campus QoS features like Trust, Per-Port/Per-VLAN support, ingress/egress QoS features and Auto QoS, use QoS effectively in WAN/VPN deployments and to provide a CLI quick start guide for beach head platforms like cat3k, cat4k, cat6k, ISR and ASR1k.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about evolution. Not the Darwinian type, nor even the evolution of business (such a common theme today among business strategists), but rather about the evolution of the market — and most specifically about the changing demands of the market as its choices become richer and more varied in the face of remarkable technological change.
Since 1876, when Alexander Graham Bell spilled a beaker of hydrochloric acid into his lap, causing him to call out to his colleague, “Come here Watson, I need you,” thus starting the communications revolution that would change the world (Watson unexpectedly heard Bell’s voice through the speaker on the device they had invented), telephone companies have prided themselves on the quality of the service they have offered to their customers.
Your small business depends on data—coming in and out of your network. You need to make sure your most important data reaches its destination. That’s where quality of service (QoS) can help. A feature found in many switches, QoS gives you the ability to assign different priority levels to different kinds of network traffic. For example, if you’re running voice over your IP network, assigning that traffic a higher priority ensures that calls get through and that call quality isn’t affected by other traffic on the network.
Learn more about QoS and what it means for your business from Jimmy Ray Purser.
Today, Cisco came out with a new wireless VPN firewall specifically designed for the smallest of small businesses. In fact, the router is built for offices with one to five people that need remote access on a secure connection. The new router has what we call “business class” performance without the complexity often found in larger-scale products. Since the Cisco RV110W is designed with the “do-it-yourselfer” in mind, it’s very easy to use, and at $99 it’s affordable, even for extremely small companies.
It’s easy to set up, and requires no IT resources. You just plug it into the network. Partners can put it in place quickly so that you can stay focused on your business and not lose any time. The four-port switch that is integrated into the product lets you connect securely to computers, printers, IP phones, cameras, and other devices. It works on both Windows and Mac OS-X for remote access to data anytime, anywhere. Also, the high-speed, wireless-N access points give you a faster file transfer time, which increases performance and the coverage area, helping employees to stay productive even if they are not at their desks.